Organized Crime in Russified Ukraine

Such scenes are increasingly common in this contested part of Ukraine near the Russian frontier. “Bosses are starting to appear on the fringes of the protests, they are middle-aged, older and better dressed than the younger men who are in the vanguard of the protests,” says Diana Berg, a 34-year-old graphic designer. The grassroots agitation in favor of Russia has become less spontaneous and more focused in recent days.

Before and since Russia’s move to annex the Crimea, many who favor the pro-European government in Kiev have argued that these “bosses” might be provocateurs from Russia’s FSB intelligence service or Spetsnaz special forces infiltrated into Ukraine to orchestrate pro-Russian sentiment. But Berg, an organizer of the pro-Ukrainian rally last week where pro-Russian thugs stabbed a student to death, says there’s a different and in some ways more frightening explanation: the ominous hand of organized crime.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/23/the-mob-and-the-mobs-in-eastern-ukraine.html

This article seems accurate to me, except I suspect many of the local bosses would prefer Kyiv & Europe to Moscow, but those who live like wolves howl like wolves. Now they risk infiltration by bosses will closer ties to the Kremlin.

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